Dreamforce + Burning Man = Dreaming Man 2016?

Dodgeball on astroturf: Dreamforce or Burning Man?

Burning Man was a rite of passage for the well informed counter-culture. A semi-organized trip to the edge of society in the scorching Nevada heat. Years later, Burning Man still bills itself as a radical cultural event but its attendees are a bit more mainstream.

360 miles from the Nevada desert, Dreamforce, salesforce's annual customer event, was in full swing this week. As it draws to a close, I couldn't help noticing how the two events are similar:

Temporary community in Black Rock City, Nevada
Temporary dwellings in San Francisco including a tent over Howard street and a cruise liner in Pier 27.
In 2015, 70,000 attendees flocked in droves from over 40 countries around the world
In 2015, 150,000 attendees flocked in droves from 91 countries around the world
How the organizers explain it to you:
An experiment in community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance.
A coming together of thought leaders, industry pioneers, and thousands of your peers for a week of idea sharing.
How you explain it to your boss:
“An event to center myself, get a vision for the future, and exchange ideas with like-minded peers”
“An event to center myself, get a vision for the future, and exchange ideas with like-minded peers”
Convince a camp to let you join them - costs can range from $500 - $2,500.
Convince your boss to send you - tickets are only $1500.
Technology, innovation, mind-expansion
Technology, innovation, mind-expansion
Vendors outdo each other to capture peoples’ attention with ostentatious and provocative displays.
Star watching:
Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Elon Musk, Katy Perry, Diddy, Susan Sarandon, Alexandra von Furstenberg, Francesca Versace, Missoni, CEOs, founders, etc.
Goldie Hawn, Jessica Alba, Sean Penn, Bono, will.i.am, Dave Grohl, Donna Karan, Patricia Arquette, Gayle King, Steve Young, CEOs, founders, etc.
Words you’ll hear:
cloud, wave, lightning, thunder
cloud, wave, lightning, thunder
Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 12.34.11 PM.png

As it turns out, I'm not alone in seeing similarities between these events:

Blake Landau seems to have been the first to notice the similarities back in 2010
Aaron Levie captured the zeitgeist in a tweet
Woodson Martin noticed that DF outpaced BM back in 2012
Carlee Potter had a particularly compelling picture comparison

Did you attend both? Tell us your view on how the two events compare!

Leo is the CEO and co-founder of AppMesh, the makers of SalesMesh. Prior to joining AppMesh, he worked for Salesforce. His favorite TV sales scene was the Kodak pitch in Mad Men season 1, episode 13.

SalesMesh is the personal CRM/sales app that works the way you sell. Automatically track customer interactions, notes, schedule follow-ups, collaborate with your network, sync to and from Salesforce all from your iPhone and iPad -- even when you're offline. Learn more here.
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  1. there are similarities in both cults indeed

  2. 8yr burner and this is my 10th DF as a Salesforce employee and I'm sorry but, no, no , NO, they do not compare. While you can make certain comparisons of any gathering of people (see: they are both places where people are gathered) these comparisons are strictly surface level at best .

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